Is there a proper way to pop a pimple?

Pimple Popping Tools

You've decided that the alien love child on your chin has got to go, and you've read about how to properly pop it.

But before you stage your attack, take a moment to consider the advantages of these tools:

  • Comedone extractor: The extractor is a thin, metal instrument that looks a bit like something you'd expect to find in a dentist's office or a manicurist's salon. Extractors vary, but they often have one bladelike end and one rounded, looped end. This is an inexpensive option, and you can easily reuse it multiple times if you make sure you sanitize it. One advantage of going to your doctor to have your pimples removed is that dermatologists use surgical-grade extractors that are often finer than the ones available in beauty or drugstores.
  • Cotton swabs: Another inexpensive pimple-popping tool is a cotton swab. Although you can't reuse swabs like you can a comedone extractor, they are cheaper. Using cotton swabs gives you better access to a pimple. You can squeeze the pimple from all sides and get into nooks and crannies that you wouldn't be able to touch with your fingers. Cotton swabs offer another advantage by absorbing any oil and goo that come out of the pimple, so you're not accidentally spreading it across your skin and causing more problems.
  • Lasers and light treatments: Phototherapy does have advantages for cases of cystic acne. It certainly costs more and often requires multiple visits, but you can't pop acne cysts on your own. You may also want to go this route if you have areas of acne that are hard to reach, like on your back.

Now that you're ready to go, tools in place, the last step before you decide to start squeezing is to consider the consequences of your actions. Read on to find out some of the problems with pimple popping.